Classy: Maine Progressive Group Says Wheelchair-Bound Republican Hasn't "Stood Up" to Governor

Posted: May 05, 2014 4:38 PM

The Maine People's Alliance, a progressive group, has come under fire for a leaflet aimed at Maine State Rep. Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon Falls). The leaflet resembles a prescription form, and "diagnosed" Crafts as having "no heart" and "no spine" as he "failed to stand up to Gov. LePage." Crafts is confined to a wheelchair following a spinal injury sustained in a motorcycle accident 26 years ago.

Democrats in the state were quick to condemn the language in the leaflet and to distance themselves from the Maine People's Alliance.

“We’ve only been out of the session two days. And it’s not beginning in a positive way. In fact, it’s pretty disturbing,” wrote Reps. Brian Jones (D-Freedom) and Denise Harlow (D-Portland) in a letter to several other elected officials.

“‘Our’ allies sent a mailer attacking the Republicans for their votes against Medicaid expansion,” the pair of lawmakers wrote. They asked like-minded colleagues to sent an email to Ben Chin, MPA’s director of political engagement, expressing their discontent.

The insensitive wording of the leaflet was reminiscent of Battleground Texas' email calling the idea of paraplegic gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott walking a "great joke."

While Crafts was criticized by the Maine People's Alliance for his votes against Medicaid expansion, his explanation for his "nay" vote was pretty clear:

“I voted against ObamaCare’s welfare expansion because I go to work every day in my wheelchair, and I don’t think I should be paying extra taxes just so able-bodied young men can get free Medicaid.”

To the Maine People's Alliance's credit, they did eventually apologize to Crafts.